Sources: Giants' Daniel Jones leading teammates in Texas throwing sessions

The virtual NFL offseason hasn't stopped Daniel Jones and some of his New York Giants teammates from getting in some work.

Jones has been holding throwing sessions with his receivers the past few weeks in Austin, Texas, sources told ESPN. Those attending include wide receivers Darius Slayton and Golden Tate, along with tight end Kaden Smith. Wide receivers, tight ends and running backs were all invited.

The New York Post first reported the workouts.

Giants skill-position players have popped in and out of Austin in recent weeks to work with Jones. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy, signed as a free agent this offseason, also lives in the area.

It's the first time that Jones was able to work with the Giants' receivers since digesting Jason Garrett's offense. Garrett, the former Dallas Cowboys head coach, was hired as the Giants' offensive coordinator earlier this year.

Jones threw to some of his receivers during a trip to his alma mater, Duke University, in February and while working out in New Jersey at the beginning of the year. But the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down before the start of the Giants' offseason workout program, when they first got their hands on the new playbook.

Multiple sources told ESPN that it was Jones who spearheaded the recent workouts in Texas, where they've had an opportunity to work on their timing and routes. This only further validates the second-year quarterback's standing as the new team leader, a role he inherited when Giants legend Eli Manning retired earlier this year.

Jones, 23, talked about this during a recent conference call with reporters.

"Yeah, I definitely feel that responsibility," Jones said last month, when he was still living at his parent's home in Charlotte, North Carolina, and throwing to current and former college players at a local park to keep his arm in shape. "We have a lot of guys on our team who are leaders, who can step up and organize guys and get things going in the right direction. But I feel that responsibility. That's something I need to take seriously, and I certainly do."

Jones was the No. 6 overall pick in last year's NFL draft. He was expected to learn behind Manning during his rookie season. But it wasn't long before former Giants coach Pat Shurmur made the switch from Manning to Jones in Week 3. Jones and Manning have admitted it was somewhat of an awkward situation, even though their relationship was solid and Jones viewed it as an invaluable learning experience watching the two-time Super Bowl MVP work.

Now it's clearly Jones' team under new coach Joe Judge. And Jones sees the benefit in these makeshift throwing sessions (Tom Brady and some Tampa Bay Buccaneers are having them in Florida), even if they are without coaches.

"Yeah, that was valuable," Jones said earlier this offseason. "We actually went to Duke, a couple of guys, and threw for a little bit there. That was valuable to get that time together. I was actually back up in Jersey for most of the offseason until this outbreak, so I was able to throw with guys who were around there. We're all doing our best to stay in shape. These conversations, a lot of our meetings have to do with routes, trying to get on the same page, trying to see things the same and talk through a lot of that, talk through a lot of those finer points.

"I think we can still work on those things. Although we're not able to get on the field, we can work to come to understandings about how we're going to run certain things, when we're going to look for certain routes and that sort of stuff. Yeah, that was a valuable time, for sure."

The full Giants offense will not have a chance to work together until training camp this summer. Friday marks the final day of their offseason program for some. Veterans will have off until the start of training camp, while rookies have another two weeks of programs before their summer break begins.

The Giants are scheduled to open camp July 29.